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Gov’t to Finally Set up Communication Tribunal

Vincent Bagiire, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information Communications and Technology, says they have reached a consensus to set up a tribunal within the next three to six months.
UCC Director Godfrey Mutabazi

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Government has finally reached an understanding with the Judicial Service Commission to set up a tribunal to resolve disputes related to the decisions of Uganda Communications Commission (UCC). 

The Uganda Communications Act 2013 provides for the establishment of a tribunal to hear and determine all matters relating to communication services arising from decisions made by UCC or Minister under the Act.   

The tribunal is supposed to consist of a judge and two other persons appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission.  

Government had failed to set up a tribunal citing lack of funds to recruit judges both at the tribunal and the Judiciary.   

 

Now, Vincent Bagiire, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information Communications and Technology, says they have reached a consensus to set up a tribunal within the next three to six months.   

//Cue in: “No It is… 

Cue out:…Judicial service commission”// 

UCC has previously been accused of issuing directives outside its mandate like the suspension of journalists. In most cases the victims of the arbitrary decisions by the regulator have nowhere to run too for redress.

In April this year, Godfrey Mutabazi, the UCC Executive Director ordered for the suspension of 39 journalists for alleged breach of minimum broadcasting standards. 

The affected media houses had not where to run for help.  

Uganda Communications Act 2013 says funds for the tribunal maybe appropriated by Parliament from time to time for enabling the tribunal to perform its functions. 

They also include grants, gifts or donations from the Government or other sources acceptable to the Minister and the Minister responsible for finance; and funds provided by the commission. 

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